Pan and the modern world

There is a thing called character and it would seem that we are born with it. The character is something that continues to develops through the actions that are learnt from parents, friends, and peers. The path of the strong is to take control of this process and escape the limitations placed upon the development of character by society. To remake oneself can be one of the greatest and most pleasurable tasks in life. An artist of artists molding a persona as if it were mud or clay. For most of history only kings had access to the self-consciousness necessary to make these kinds of changes. Gradually the task of self-creation has pervaded many layers of society and now most have been given this responsibility of consciousness. Where we take the ability of self-creation is up to everyone individually and in this paper, I lay out what I feel captures an essential part of what humanity must become and in so doing give the individual an additional tool for the creation of the self.

The Greek god Pan was born of the union between the trickster god Hermes and a wood nymph. At seeing the half man, half goat creator his mother fled back into the forest out of fear. Pan was then brought to Mount Olympus where the gods were delighted by his outrageous form and charming laughter. Pan lords over the mountains, the woodland forests, the gently-flowing streams, and the open pastures of the countryside and in this way, stands in opposition to developed society. His paradoxical nature of being a fierce hunter along with a gifted musician and nimble dancer add to his charm and seductive power.

One of the few gods to die, his death is associated in time with the death and rebirth of Christ. In this sense the death of Pan implies the rejoicing of the greater light of Christianity and the mourning of the passing and separation from societies of more primal instincts. Ultimately Pan became associated with the image of Satan with his semi-bestial appearance, unabashed sexuality, and profound relationship to the world of nature and animal instinctually. Representing a fear of a primal way of life, Pan was demonized and a connection with the grace of nature was forgotten.

The natural world is something of great power that man has feared and fought throughout existence. Today it seems that we have almost won the war for total domination over the environment but in so doing we have lost the way. Focused intently on victory it seems that we have overlooked many of the consequences and now find ourselves naked once again in spite of our garments and articles of clothing.

To revel again in Dionysian ecstasy at the coming of spring. To re-learn the inborn sensitivity to ecosystem that surrounds us. Now is time for the rebirth of Pan and a reunion of the old values in rustic innocence and our most deeply felt passions in the natural world. We need Pan now more than ever. To some this will look like the coming of the Anti-Christ and great societal challenges await his rebirth, but the magic of Pan is that he does not walk where society has set its roads. His way is near the outskirts in the trees and rivers where no set paths have yet been laid. To create from the spirit of dance something alluring with such strength as to sway the foundations of the modern mechanical way of life. What he urges is for us to fully reawaken to the animate qualities of the natural world, thereby reestablishing our relatedness to both nature and our instinctual soul. Pan is far from dead for he keeps on being reborn in all kinds of strange ways.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s